Brexit deal to be finalised "within three weeks"
The Brexit Minister, Dominic Raab, has promised the final Brexit deal with the European Union will be finished within three weeks, despite no breakthrough in negotiations with Brussels over the Irish border.
In a letter to the Commons committee on Exiting the European Union released today, Raab stated that he "would be happy to give evidence to the committee when a deal is finalised, and currently expect 21 November to be suitable.", and claims "95 percent of the Withdraw Agreement and its protocols are now settled".
Rabb continues: "The end is now firmly in sight and, while obstacles remain, it cannot be beyond us to navigate them. We have resolved most of the issues and we are building up together what the future relationship should look like and making real progress."
The statement comes as the EU27 ambassadors gather in Brussels to discuss the next stage of Brexit talks, while the Irish government has begun to draw up plans for border checks in the case of a no-deal.
Despite the British government claiming that the UK and the EU now “agree on the principle of a UK-wide customs backstop”, the EU has denied this and argued there isn't enough time left to agree the details before March.
Under current proposals, only Northern Ireland would remain in the customs backstop, something backbench Tory and DUP MPs have said they would veto.
It comes as immigration minister, Caroline Nokes faced criticism for claiming that current EU citizens living in the UK would have to prove their right to work after Brexit, stating: “If somebody has been through the settled status scheme they would be able to evidence that."
“If somebody hasn’t been here prior to the end of March next year, employers will have to make sure they go through adequately rigorous checks to evidence somebody’s right to work."